…ti, dt, tg or rt? either way…Posted: 2014-05-31
…things keep going further downhill, especially when the US Secretary of States speaks…
As the US MSM continues to circle the wagons for self-deception and to relive glory days that cannot be lived again, traditional media elsewhere have started to confront the reality of the decline. From the ever loyal UK comes this from the Independent, as the chaos, the shambles of US foreign policy is examined. The low stakes of Biden’s visit to Cyprus show Obama’s failures in the post-Arab Spring world
…Only an American [US] politician inspired by a kind of cosmic narcissism and wilfully blind to the loathing of the US created by the Afghan and Iraqi wars could have made that pitch [the silliness like the ‘clenched fist’ of the enemy and the ‘hand of friendship’ of the US]. Five years on, it is clear that it has failed utterly.
Obama’s attempt to escape the Middle Eastern quagmire prompted the big idea of his second term, the pivot to Asia. But now, with their $400 billion gas deal signed this week, Russia and China have made it painfully clear that there will be no easy gains in Asia either. Hence Mr Biden’s Cyprus trip. The stakes are comfortably low. For a superpower in full retreat, it is a suitably modest gamble.
Such obviousness is seldom explored in media dedicated to promoting, instead of examining or critiquing policy. And that scathing commentary from the Independent has some stiff competition from the Daily Telegraph, of all newspapers, given that it is somewhat conservative, even if not of the hysterical US counterparts. The Telegraph’s columnist examines the performance of the US Secretary of State and wonders where US diplomacy and policy have gone.
John Kerry should really try and get some sleep. With the ‘sound bite’ analysis now predominant in the US, Peter Foster observes,
In so many respects this [blustering and making inaccurate statements] is classic John Kerry. A great lion of international diplomacy who, in his short tenure at State, has tended to roar first, think later. It’s a strategy that works well on CNN, or particularly when posturing in the Senate, where Mr Kerry was long-time chair of the Foreign Affairs committee, but it can lead to difficulties on the international stage.
Who could forget John’s moving declaration of war speech against Syria last year? It was a masterpiece of oratory, undercut only by Barack Obama going for a stroll around the Rose Garden with his chief of staff and changing his mind – pointedly without telling his Secretary of State.
Fortunately, Foster is merciful in not mentioning the present or former US Ambassador to the UN.
Not willing too leave well enough alone, the Secretary of State seeks to preempt, co-opt, or whatever, a US news network interview of Mr Edward Snowden. In his appearances he cites Dr Daniel Ellsberg as a model Snowden should emulate, and therefore return to the US. Sometimes knowing when to shut up can be a sign of prudence. Dr Ellsberg, still alive which is unfortunate for Kerry, responds in The Guardian. An excerpt,
John Kerry’s challenge to Snowden to return and face trial is either disingenuous or simply ignorant that current prosecutions under the Espionage Act allow no distinction whatever between a patriotic whistleblower and a spy. Either way, nothing excuses Kerry’s slanderous and despicable characterizations of a young man who, in my opinion, has done more than anyone in or out of government in this century to demonstrate his patriotism, moral courage and loyalty to the oath of office the three of us swore: to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
And The Guardian seems to have anticipated such a response as its cartoonist, Steve Bell, is unsparing in his skewering of the ‘man up’ drivel. Clearly such a cartoon would never grace the pages of either the NYT or WaPo.
And not to make things any easier, the behaviour and expertise of President Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia, by contrast, have shown up the inadequacy of most senior US officials (and their associates) on the international stage.
Thus it is that Mr Kerry’s famous attack on RT had the unintended effect of offering the curious a peek at how terrible (?) RT (and other non-US media) is compared with the vacuous and jingoistic offerings of the US MSM. Yes, the criticism has also had the effect of inviting the world to witness the professionalism and competence of his charges and those of the White House. Yes, silence can be golden – it can keep at bay the hovering word ‘buffoon’.
Diplomacy, US style. Bluster and belligerence. Foreign policy? The desperate dash to Boko Haram in Nigeria only emphasises the still unfolding disaster to US power and prestige worsened by Victoria’s Secrets as that Pandora Box was opened. Which explains the widespread bemusement, and even the ridicule, despite tremendous respect for its World Cup team without Landon Donovan.